July 14, 2024

“They enjoy being around each other,” coach Jason Maas remarks about his players as they gear up to kick off a new season as the reigning Grey Cup champions.

The Alouettes’ fortunes have notably shifted over the past year. While CFL teams considered them vulnerable in 2023 due to free-agent losses and uncertain ownership, the situation is different now. Heading into the new season, Montreal looks formidable on paper and is expected to be the strongest team in the East Division, beginning with their opener against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Princess Auto Stadium.

Why settle for a division when you can aim to conquer the league?

“I think we have the best team in the CFL, and I’ll always say that,” said quarterback Cody Fajardo, the Grey Cup MVP. “I believe in what this team can do. I’m excited to prove we are the best team in the CFL.”

Alouettes extend QB Cody Fajardo's contract through 2025 season

Despite some key departures, the team’s core remains intact. With a year under head coach Jason Maas, familiarity and experience have grown, making the team more cohesive and prepared for success. Maas highlights the team’s work ethic, connection, and enthusiasm as key strengths.

The Als were inconsistent for more than half of last season, experiencing a streak of wins followed by a string of losses, leaving them at 6-7 by mid-September. They then finished the season strong with five consecutive wins and three more in the playoffs, culminating in a 28-24 Grey Cup victory over the Blue Bombers.

Winnipeg, the league’s gold standard, has reached the Grey Cup four consecutive seasons but lost the last two title games. The Als face a tough opener in Winnipeg due to scheduling conflicts at Molson Stadium. Despite this, head coach Jason Maas remains focused on the game.

Montreal returns several key players, including standout safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy and a strong linebacker group. Offensively, Walter Fletcher will step in for the departed William Stanback, and receivers Kaion Julien-Grant and Tyson Philpot are expected to shine. Quarterback Cody Fajardo, now more comfortable under Maas, is optimistic about the team’s cohesion and potential.

The Als open their season on the road and won’t play at home until June 20.

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